State of the Union: Five key takeaways from Ursula Von der Leyen
17 September 2020
Key points from von der Leyen's state of the union speech [caption id="attachment_14822" align="alignnone" width="640"]...
The GRTU has this week presented a number of position papers to the Maltese Government, on which some we have also asked our MEPs for support since important votes were going to be taken in the European Parliament.
Alternative and Online Dispute Resolution: GRTU welcomed the Commission's proposals aimed to resolve disputes related to commercial transactions and practices in the European Union. Moreover, GRTU welcomed the Commission's aim to promote consumer confidence in the internal market as well as to encourage consumers to make more use of e-commerce. As things currently stand, the commerce sector is not able to make full use of its potential. Frequently, cross-border distribution is hindered by language problems, logistic and transport costs, cultural differences, density of population, producer rules or territorial supply restrictions imposed by brand manufacturers, even within the EU, payment systems and card costs for currency conversion. GRTU however also put forward a few aspects of the ADR Directive and the ODR Regulation, in particular the scope, the deadline for solving offline and online disputes, and the information obligations of the trader, which need to be adjusted in order to ensure the proper functioning of ADR.
Common European Sales Law: GRTU stated that it fully supports the Commission's aim to improve the functioning of the internal market and its efforts in trying to facilitate more online transactions by removing the barriers which are blocking the internal market and more specifically, online cross border sales. The business community has also supported the Commission to fully harmonise consumer protection law but the proposal on Consumer Rights Directive (CRD) showed that it is already very difficult to harmonise just a small part of consumer rights. The proposal on a Regulation on a Common European Sales Law (CESL) is offering one set of rules for cross-border trade, however it is not following the normal procedure for adopting new legislation. The proposal, as it currently stands, raises some questions that undermine the legal certainty it is supposed to provide. In order to make the proposal attractive for businesses and consumers, some changes to the Annex are needed. Currently it provides such a high consumer protection, that it will make it impossible for the majority of businesses to opt for this instrument. GRTU would like to stress that the optional instrument will only work if it adds value for consumers and provides opportunity for businesses. GRTU submitted more specific comments.
GRTU also put forward EuroCommerce's position paper Product Liability and UEAPME's position on Electromagnetic fields. GRTU had been consulted on these papers and presented them in line with its agreement.
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